British unionists took to the streets of Glasgow where the mood was dark after the defeat of the nationalists, to “celebrate” Scotland’s decision to stay in the UK. But the “celebration” predictably descended into violent clashes with at least 11 people arrested.
Glascow voted to leave the UK in the referendum held on Thursday. Scotland’s biggest city supported independence with 194,779 votes for and 169,347 against.
Chief Superintendent Andy Bates, local policing commander for Greater Glasgow, told The Scotsman: “More than 700 people gathered in George Square last night and there have been 11 arrests for various offenses including disorder, breach of the peace and vandalism.”
“An investigation into Friday night’s disorder has begun and an incident room has been set up at Glasgow city center police office, staffed by officers dedicated to identifying and arresting anyone involved in the ugly scenes witnessed across the world on television and social media,” he said.
A spokesperson from Police Scotland told local media that there were about 100 people in each group. But then ‘Yes’ supporters started leaving the square, which became dominated by unionists. This emboldened the unionists to go on the attack.
The supporters of the ‘No’ campaign then set off red-colored fire crackers and waved Union Jack flags, singing ‘Rule Britannia’, ‘You Let Your Country Down’ and ‘Can You Hear the Yes Campaign?’ they carried banners associated with the pro-Union Orange Order. They reportedly let off flares in George Square.
On the other side of the square there were campaigners for Scottish Independence.
“We will never surrender,” read a pro-independence sign. The pro demonstrators were reportedly singing the Scottish anthem “Flower of Scotland.”
Like hooligans, the unionists then started attacking pro-Independence supporters. With tensions high, police tried to keep the opposing political forces apart.
One Vine video from George Square depicts a young blonde woman with a Scottish flag on the ground being humiliated and attacked by an angry man with a Union Jack.
One Twitter user posted a photo showing pro-Union activists performing Nazi salutes.